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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Matalina

The Medic Tent (open)

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It was early in the morning, the sun was barely up when Nox had groaned the first time.  Adrim shifted in the chair he'd fallen asleep in.  His body ached.  He'd had the boys take Nox to his house.  Nox would be more comfortable in his own house.  He'd freak out less when he finally woke up.  But Adrim wasn't about to let the boy be alone after nearly dying.  There were already rumors.  What was another?

 

"Why didn't you sleep here?" Nox asked waking Adrim from his drowsy slumber. 

 

He blinked at the other man who was trying to sit up.  "I didn't think it was appropriate."  

 

Nox gave Adrim a shy smile.  "People already think you and I are sleeping together."

 

Adrim blushed.  "I'd rather not fuel any truth to it."

 

Nox shrugged.  "Are the soldiers and the boy alright?"

 

Adrim got up and filled the wash basin from the water pitcher and warmed with a thread of fire.  He splashed his face while he felt the burn of Nox's eyes on his back.  "Perfectly fine.  I'm going to wash up and head to the medic tent where they will meet me.  I took the boy home.  His parents were worried sick about him, apparently it's not the first time he's wandered from home."

 

Nox nodded.  "I'm glad he's not homeless."

 

Adrim smiled.  Nox always had a soft spot for the kids less fortunate.  He was always empty giving up his last bit of coin to feed them when he saw them thieving to make ends meet.  Adrim knew it was a hard life for him, and he continued to make it hard now.  He sighed and walked over to Nox and pressed him back down into bed as he sat down next to him.  "I better not find you out of bed until this evening when I come back."  Adrim pressed a kiss to his forehead.  "You rest."  

 

Nox sighed.  "Fine."  Relieved the younger man would obey he got up and walked out of the one room abode.  Nox lived even more meagerly than most on the Farm.

 

****

 

The medic tent was still occupied by the sick boy, Adrim relieved the night watch and checked on the patient, his fever seemed to have broken.  It was a good sign.  He'd pull through and then they'd begin his training immediately.  Until then he'd stay here.  Adrim waited for his two students to show themselves.  The later they were the less they were going to see today.  He smiled and wondered if the older one would be late for him.  He'd soon find Nox was too easy on him.

Edited by Matalina

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Ful didn’t complain about another block in his progress, about being handed off to yet another mentor. Such an act would weaken him in the eyes of the others. He’d grown up understanding there was a basic thread of unfairness running through a soldier’s life. Soldiering was about the whole, about the unit, and about the way that unit functioned in terms of discipline and coherence. Once he got used to the disappointment of being leveled out whether he was right or wrong, he began to function together with the unit, and life got easier. 

 

He also understood the importance of healing from yesterday's training. Ful dropped into step with Adrim at the medics tent. It was the first time he had ever spoken to the asha’aman who saved his mentor. “Sir, how's Nox?”

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                The night before had left Merdyn shaken. The smell of blood and Trollocs seemed to permeate all of his clothes, his hair, his nostrils. That was the reason he had burned almost half of his wardrobe this morning. The clothing could be replaced easily. The memories though…

 

                Out of old habit, Merdyn had gone to the Tavern right after leaving the Medic Tent the night before. About two tankards of ale into the night, he realized that the drink just didn’t hold the edge that it used to. He never had liked drinking, not until Kyllian was murdered… After that, Merdyn had drowned his sorrows night in and night out with ale, wine, or any other drink that could make him forget. It wasn't just drinking. There were other substances available that could give one a high for a few hours. Powders, herbs, salves. You just had to know where to get it.

 

                Merdyn had only experimented with those substances. There was one particular herb he liked. It was green and most pungent. His favorite thing to do was to down a keg of ale and then pack a pipe of the stuff, letting the night ooze on. It had been a long time since he had indulged in that.

 

                Upon coming to the Tower, he had sworn any and all substances off. He couldn’t even find any here if he tried. Instead, he hit the bottle harder. It worked for the most part, but it got him into trouble almost every night.

 

                It stops now. I have seen those that waste their lives at pubs and smoke dens. That is what they are. A waste. I will not suffer the same fate. I will do better. I will be better.

 

                Seeing Nox lying in a pool of his own blood had made Merdyn realize that life could be cut off at any moment. He wasn’t really getting anything out of his existence, wasting it away at the Tavern night after night. What would Kyllian think? If the rest of Merdyn’s years, however many or few, were going to be joyous ones, he would have to clean up his act. That started with daily choices.

 

                Instead of sleeping till noon, nursing a hangover, Merdyn was up at the crack of dawn. He had prepped everything for breakfast and dragged a volunteer in to handle everything for the morning rush. Anything to make sure he was on time this morning for his meeting with Adrim. With that done, he set off into the crisp morning air.

 

 

 

                Merdyn gulped down the rest of his black tea and placed the tankard on an upended barrel not far from the Medic section of the Farm. He would come back for it later unless someone else grabbed it for him. Ful was ahead, ducking into the same tent from the night before.

 

                Taking a moment to straighten his coat and his hair, Merdyn took a deep breath.

 

                Today is a fresh start for you, Merdyn Gilyard. No more debauchery or lazing about. You are to get serious with the Black Tower, and you are to get serious with your life! No excuses. None. Be the best you can be. Otherwise, someone may end up dead.

 

                Ducking into the tent, Merdyn plastered on his usual smile and greeted Adrim and Ful, “Good morning, Adrim. Ful. I trust Nox has made a speedy recovery? …I hope?”

Edited by Oddpositions

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The boys were on time.  Much to their credit, they'd had a hard day.  And both seemed keen on making sure their teacher was alright.  "Nox is resting.  I expect he'll be up by days end if not before."  Adrim shook his head.  He knew for a fact Nox would be up before he returned.  The boy despised sitting still, getting hurt was one of the worst things that could happen to him.  Even after a full healing, he'd need rest.  And that was how Adrim started the lesson.  "Healing takes its toll on both yourself and the person you are healing.  Healing someone close to death can harm them more than help them.  In some cases, like Nox's yesterday, it's worth trying because the outcome is perilous regardless of the decision you make.  So when you choose to heal, be wary of what harm you might cause the individual."  Adrim waved his hand over to the boy lying on the cot.

 

"This boy is perfectly healthy, except that he has the channeling sickness.  As a wilder, as the White Tower calls it, he will die if he is not trained.  We will help him with that, but right now I'd like the both of you to practice delving.  It is your first step in healing.  Never just heal an individual first like I did last night.  I was not in my right head after seeing my own student lying in front of me - again."  Adrim confessed.  

 

He started weaving the simple weave over the body of the boy.  "With this weave, we can determine what ails a body.  But how do you know what ails a body, if you've never felt a healthy body?  Short of the now broken fever, this boy is perfectly healthy.  Delve him, one at a time.  Understand what a body feels like. "

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                Adrim wasted no time in telling Merdyn and Ful that Nox was going to pull through. For all the calm that Merdyn had tried to convey, he could not help but let out an exasperated sigh of relief as the words left Adrim’s mouth. The older man immediately launched into an impromptu lesson. As distraught over Nox as Merdyn was, he still had that insatiable appetite to learn more of the One Power. He quickly shifted his attention to Healing and thought of little else, gobbling up every little bit that Adrim had to offer.

 

                Who knew that to heal, one had to harm? It seemed so counter-intuitive. Surely there was a better way? Perhaps a way that the Asha’men had not discovered yet? The One Power was capable of performing the supposed impossible, why should there not be a way to Heal that was safe for both the Practitioner and the Patient?

 

                Those were questions for later, of course. After years of learning from the finest tutors Andor had to offer, Merdyn had quickly caught on that it was best to listen first and ask questions later. For all you knew, your teacher might answer your question before they were done talking, or they might have steered you in a direction to learn the answer for yourself. Every tutor was different in their methods, and some grew dangerously upset when you interrupted their teachings with a question or two…

 

                Adrim was to have the pair delve the boy in the tent. How young was he? He must’ve started to show signs of manhood if the boy was already showing channeling sickness. He couldn’t have seen more than 15 or 16 namedays at best… Poor thing. Luckily Merdyn hadn’t started channeling until well after he had physically matured. That last bit alone was awkward enough without adding channeling into the mix. Apparently, women had shown signs even early than men! Poor things…

 

                Merdyn looked to Ful before stepping up to the boy on the cot. Hopefully, his friend would not mind that he had gone first. Merdyn was just so anxious to get on with it. Healing had been at the top of his mind ever since he had seen Nox caked in his own blood… Merdyn had seen similar sights before coming to the Black Tower, but that hadn’t made the situation any easier. If anything, the sight of Nox in that state had only worsened Merdyn’s mind.

 

                Spirit. That’s all you need to determine what ails the body! How simple. That should be easy enough…

 

                Weaving the simple set of threads, Merdyn was surprised at what he felt after it had all fallen into place. Delving the body felt very similar to delving the Earth. The only difference being the area in which one was feeling. With this weave, Merdyn felt as if he had a set of phantom hands, groping at some invisible shape. He couldn’t really describe the shape he was feeling, just that it felt right. There seemed to be a few tiny bubbles along the surface of this shape, but they weren’t out of place. Somehow, Merdyn knew that they would not be there in a day or two.

 

                That must be the channeling sickness.

 

                With a shudder, Merdyn withdrew those phantom hands and released Saidin.  He turned to Adrim, “It felt… smooth. And right. Those are the only words I can use to describe it… Except for a few bumps over a small patch… What was it that we are feeling at? Was that the boy’s soul? Or perhaps his thread in the Age Lace?” Merdyn gave a shudder at that thought. He loved working with Saidin, but the notion of touching one’s Soul or even their Thread in the pattern was unthinkable. That only meant that if Merdyn could do it, no matter how untrained, another could as well. It had made him feel vulnerable beyond words.

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Ful looked sharply at Adrim for a moment, then shook his head. It didn't matter, this closeness between Adrim and his student Nox. There was both a fierce look and kindness in the asha'aman's eyes last night.

 

He was beginning to know what having a mentor meant. He had been cut free of his roots, and had gone places further away than his family had gone. It left him stranded and adrift. The only place left for him was the place his mentor, and attack leader Isha had given him: standing here in this makeshift medics tent for the wounded. Standing here, under the lamp lit tent, he realized, for the first time in his life, how selfless his mentor Isha's decision had been. Isha hadn't hesitated to take Ful into his family at the farm. Fate had given Ful into Nox's care, and now Adrim's. Light, he saw that now. He wondered if Isha ever resented the responsibility he had been landed with. Certainly, Isha became a proxy parent out of necessity for him and Linten, because there was no other option. He decided that Adrim's relationship with Nox was a particular thing. Without Adrim, or someone like him, Nox would have died. 

 

This is why healing was important.

 

He exchanged a look with Merdyn - yesterday's experience hoisting Nox up and carrying him into his house had bonded them somewhat - as the other soldier examined the boy first. He felt the other seize saidin and listened patiently as Merdyn made his assessment. Ful peered closer at the wilder in the bed as Merdyn shuddered and released his weave. Curious, was something awry?

 

Ful frowned as he laid hands on the patient, bracing himself for saidin to fill him before he delved into the boy with the power.  He could smell the oils that the medics had anointed his body with. The boy's lips were dry and cracked. His throat felt dry and he must have had a headache from the broken fever. After a moment, he reached down and unhooked his half empty water bottle, placing it carefully on the boy's bed, near his rough sandpaper hand. "He's thirsty." Other than that, perfectly healthy. 

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Adrim smirked at the boys comment about touching the soul or the pattern.  And he gave the same answer he gave anyone else who asked.  "I am no philosopher.  I expect if you saw a healer, or one who deals with the dead, you might find different answers to that question.  It just is."  Adrim provided Ful with a cloth to allow the boy some moisture, unconscious as he was but he'd wake soon.  Adrim had every intention of sending the Ful back in to see to him when he did way.  There was compassion in the younger man, he could do well in the tents.  

 

This was not war time, but things happened.  This was a sick tent, and at the present very few sick here.  A trip to town might yield some results.  Adrim had gotten spoiled with Nox's traveling ability.  But the boy shouldn't be out of bed.  So they walked.  "We will walk to town and see if we can offer any of our services to the locals."

 

Adrim and Nox's two students headed into town, it was a good walk.  One Adrim hadn't made in a while,  he wasn't old by any means, nor lazy, but the walk was bound to make him pay in the morning.  He'd gotten lazy, he would have to remedy that.  "While we walk, are there any questions?  Healing or otherwise I can answer?"

 

[[ One of ya can walk us to town, ask any questions you want, even personal ones, if you are brave.  Maybe they don't make it to town, a perfect accident on the side of the road or something else along those lines.  Or we can be boring and just go to town to heal. ]]

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For the second time, Ful Haert washed his hands under the faucet and then dusted them dry with lavender powder. He was fidgety, restless. His mind wound tight, and try as he might, he couldn’t relax.

 

The medics tent was a quiet vault, well-lit and arranged with rows of freshly laundered beds. Ful checked some more bottles on the shelf, then sighed and walked around. His boots rang out cold, empty beats as he paced the length of the tent. He paused - crunched down and looked around, chewing the inside of his cheek - at the end of the bed the wilder occupied, careful not to disturb the bedroll. His hands clenched and unclenched as he imagined the boy’s future. He wondered if the tension would ever ease. It didn’t feel like it would.

 

He wondered if the wilder knew what he was heading into as a new arrival, a recruit here. Other than the fever, the channeling sickness, he looked clean and healthy. Ful wondered, when the boy woke, if he ought to stop and share with him about the things he’d seen and things he knew . . . he decided against telling him anything. It wasn’t good for morale. Besides, nobody bothered to warn him. 

 

Heavy with a full canteen of water, Ful scooped up his kit bag - carrying several extracts marked clearly by their labels prepped with anticoagulant and anti-septic properties, a roll of gauze bandages. Ful thought for a moment longer, then tucked away several field ration packs inside his kit. Times like these, food was as welcome as their healing services.

 

He walked with careful steps to join his team up the path toward town. His senses were sharp. Sharper than before. Ful looked around; his sharp senses caught their scents, their sounds in the undergrowth, their black uniforms, and the silver, gleaming pins of the asha’aman. 

 

“Yes, how do you not scare people?” Ful asked Adrim, with a half smile. They were hardly a trio of medicine men.

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                For all that mankind understood about the Universe, there was always something out there that just had no answer. Merdyn was a little surprised that Adrim had mentioned Philosophers in regards to the earlier question. If that was his response, Merdyn had assumed that there was no solid answer to the question. No one knew if that was the Soul that was being Healed, not definitely at least.

 

                Well, you can’t Fly with the One Power and no one has an answer for that either… How many other limits do we have as Channelers? How many of those limits have an explanation?

 

                Merdyn followed Adrim out of the tent, Ful hanging back for the slightest moment to gather supplies, no doubt. It probably would’ve been smart for Merdyn to follow suit, but that’s what his coin purse was for, sewn into a pocket inside of his jacket. He had borrowed a handsome amount of gold from Father the night before leaving for Tear. Today he only carried a few gold marks and a handful of other denominations. Just in case. If need be, he’d certainly be able to buy supplies in town.

 

                Ful caught up and they made their way down the path to town. Merdyn spoke up, “What you said earlier… Is there a way to Heal that does not sap the energy of the Patient? And for that matter, are there no safeguards we can use that lessens or nullifies the potential hazards of Healing? If we are going to help people, I’d like to minimize as much risk as possible…” Images of Nox covered in blood flashed in Merdyn’s mind, he shuddered.

 

                Shaking it off, Merdyn glanced back at Ful and then gave a start when he looked passed his friend. Further back on the road, well behind the trio, a large dark carriage was moving towards them at an alarming pace. The thing was pulled by a team of 4 white horses, that was about as much detail as he could make out from this distance. He looked back to Adrim and asked, “Do we have any carriages back at the Farm?” Merdyn motioned behind them. He wasn’t sure if they should be worried. The least they might have to do is step off the road, or get run over.

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Ful asked a good question.  Adrim smiled at the boy, "Be as friendly as possible.  Wear a smile.  The normal thing.  There is nothing we can do expect spread our help and knowledge to those who are willing."  Adrim patted Ful on the shoulder.  "I doubt you will have much difficulty.  You are a good lad, kind and compassionate. You will be fine."  

 

They walked a little ways in silence before Merdyn asked about healing.  Adrim nodded.  "There is a more powerful weave, but it takes skill.  Not everyone can do it.  Which is why we start here.  If you adept in this method, we'll add to your knowledge.  Some like Nox, don't have the skill to heal.  In Nox's case it isn't a matter of skill, it's a matter of his anxiety getting in the way.  There is a lot to say about mind over matter.  If you don't believe you can do something, you won't be able to." Adrim wasn't going to tell the boys the reasons Nox didn't heal - he could, he had the skill and the power he didn't believe he was qualified to.

 

But Adrim didn't really get much time to try to respond more as a carriage with four white steeds barreled towards them.  It came from the direction of the Farm, but they didn't have black carriages and white steeds, usually they were just horse and wagons.  There didn't look to be anyone driving the horses as it barreled towards them.  Adrim wove a weave of air and pulled the boys to safety as the carriage burst past them.

 

Everything to follow happened so fast there was no real time to react with the One Power even if he'd thought to as he watched the carriage bounce and bound over the ruts in the road.  It hit a particularly hard rock and there was a loud snap as a wheel shattered against it sending the cart tumbling to the side.  It crashed with screams inside the carriage.  The horses were trying to right themselves, and if they did they'd spook.  Adrim rushed to the front of the steeds to try to calm the leads as they fought their reins and the weight of the others behind them, and the carriage.

 

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“Fortune prick me,” Ful hissed; he couldn’t hear anything but the shrill screams from within the fancy carriage, and his own frantic breathing. He was perspiring so hard now he felt like his whole skin might just slip off. He moved on, slightly more comfortable with the idea of Adrim and Merdyn flanking him. His sharp eyes suddenly caught something moving within.

 

As a rule, Ful didn’t do brave. He liked to lie back, positioned in good cover behind something, and leave the hero stuff to the likes of Nox and Merdyn. But he was getting edgy. He wanted something to do before he snapped, or before the tension dredged up one of his killer headaches.

 

He licked his lips, looked over at Merdyn then nodded. He sighed and moved past the downed horses which Adrim was mastering, swept his long flows of air from side to side moving the rubble, peering into the gloom. Dust swirled up in the sickly light that shafted in through the holes in the door. Ful looked into the carriage. He saw a gleam of feline eyes appear.

 

“You there. Let go and reach out. There’s room right beside you."

 

He remembered what Adrim advised earlier, and put on a big smile, trying to sound cheerful, even though this was a situation that made him feel anything but. He reached out, and his fingers found reassuringly solid metal. His invisible flows propped the broken roof structure up.

 

“That’s it, now slide around to me.”  

 

He reached into the carriage again, pulling out the woman, whose face was pink and sweaty with fear and exertion. Some cuts, scrapes - but thankfully not too much bleeding. “Here. How many are . . .?” Ful murmured to her, still smiling, crouching down to rest and wiping his brow, but not before handing over his water canteen and his handkerchief.

Edited by Lih-Lyh

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                Everything seemed to happen at once. First, they were talking, not a care to be ahead, then Adrim was pushing them out of the way of the carriage. Merdyn swore an oath at being taken by surprise. He hated that. It was always too easy for others to sneak up on him unless he held Saidin that was. The shove had caused Merdyn to fall to the ground, but he made a quick recovery, dusting off his breeches and offering a cheesy grin for Ful.

 

                Adrim was calming the horses and Ful moved to rip open the carriage. Merdyn wove flows of fire, readying a few fireballs just in case. Bad things seemed to follow the boys of the Black Tower. He had just been caught unawares by Adrim’s weave, it wouldn’t happen again. Especially if there were thugs in that carriage…

 

                A woman?

 

                Ful was now helping a sweaty woman from the carriage, tending to her delicate nature. Merdyn didn’t loosen the flows, however, not until he was sure there was nothing off about the situation. Approaching cautiously, Merdyn readied another flow, this time a few thick threads of Earth and his favorite, Fire. He had heard a few of the Asha’men, the ones that used to be archers, talking about this weave, but he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to get it right. Supposedly you just had to lay a thick weave of the two elements about in a rectangular shape and when it was done…

 

                Light… Did I just…?

 

                Merdyn hadn’t noticed that while he was mentally going through the steps for the weave, his body was subconsciously creating the weave beneath him. His breath caught as he looked down from ten paces above Adrim, Ful, the Damsel, and the Carriage. Beneath Merdyn had sprouted a pillar of earth, almost as if a giant had pushed a tube of soil up through the ground and froze it in place. The thing didn’t even wobble in the breeze. A closer look at the pillar would reveal that the threads of Fire had hardened the soil until it was no different from the stone of a mountain. Merdyn would be hard pressed not to say that he was proud of himself.

 

                Wasting no more time, Merdyn’s eyes scanned the scene. Inside of the carriage appeared to be another human form, perhaps unconscious. Scrambling down the pillar of soil, Merdyn called out to Adrim and Ful, “Guys! There’s another one in there!”

 

                With a deft flow of Air, Merdyn cut open the side of the carriage. The large fall fell way to reveal a young woman, all in silks and organza. Blood caked the front of her dress, a large splinter of wood nearly as thick as one of Merdyn’s thighs pierced the woman’s shoulder. Her breathing was labored, sweat beading on her brow, eyelids fluttering. A soft moan escaped her lips.

 

                “Adrim! I need you now!” Merdyn managed to yell out before Saidin fled and vomit threated to emerge at the sight of blood and bone.

Edited by Oddpositions

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Ooc: took a liberty moving the injured woman away from the carriage hope this is ok!

 

He heard Merdyn yelling for Adrim’s help as Ful was hunched over the big pink faced woman and looked up.

 

He wasn’t sure what he was looking for, then he saw what Merdyn’s sharp eyes already detected. His gaze took in the woman's injured companion, held inside the carriage, intensely shocked.

 

“Fortune prick me!"

 

Ful paled, then hurried over to take the horses’ reins from Adrim. He had to calm the four horses who flashed the whites of their eyes at him. To make sure they didn’t run away. He knew the asha’aman needed to work fast to heal the hurt lady.

 

The lady rolled, twice, and cried out in pain as the impacts jarred her injuries and breaks, then blacked out as she was freed from the wreck.

 

Then Ful noticed something wrong. He realized that the air-severed carriage behind the fainted figure was now on fire. Not good. 

 

“What? Oh sh-”

 

What was left of the carriage exploded in mid-air. A big sphere of white light expanded in the sky and then was gone. Luckily, the solid wall of earth Merdyn put up shielded their group from any further harm. 

 

He looked around, noting that, at some point, the large, pink faced woman blacked out too. Ful was glad she did not have to know the bad news regarding their destroyed carriage until later. At least the horses stayed put instead of bolting at the fire. He quickly tied them to a nearby tree, thanking his luck the horse submitted to him despite feeling skittish.

 

Luck, Ful decided, looking up at the sky where the blast was, wondering if . . . if - even though he couldn’t see it through the smoke and clouds - that was indeed where his lucky star was.

Edited by Lih-Lyh
Edit2: thanks Merdyn! I've edited my post as well xD now how are we gonna move on with 2 fainted ladies?

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[[ooc: it was the Rock Wall weave, so it didn't need to be tied off. the soil pillar is solid like rock. i didn't specify that well enough in my post. I'll edit it to throw a few words in so it's clear.]]

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The horses were calm.  The roads were empty again, but the world had fallen into a chaos that only seemed possible since the Dragon was Reborn.  His name was called and Adrim caught the scent of blood and screams pierced the air - human and horse alike and then there was deadly silence.

 

Adrim rushed to the woman Ful moved.  This was no time for a lesson but Adrim showed the boys quickly.  "Watch carefully, we don't have time to do this slow.  That's the problem with healing." he muttered the latter to himself.

 

Adrim wove the elements in a delicate weave that he sent into the woman's body.  "It's the same type wound Nox received.  Show me the weave." Adrim demanded even as he set to work on the woman's internal injuries.  They were far more complex.  but the weave was still the same.  

 

The gift did the work.  Adrim only applied it, he could watch the boys weave their own delicate weaves.  He didn't dare let them try on this woman, not yet.  Not until he had her stable.  There was only one way to do this and that was to try.  Adrim believed that, and when the woman began to breathe easier and there was no more a threat of her dying, Adrim release the power and focused on the boys.  She was by afar from healed, but that was for the boys.  "One at a time.  Ful, you try the injuries on her arm, Merdyn, you can work the ones remaining on her chest."  They were all superficial and she'd heal from them on her own, but the boys had to learn.

Edited by Matalina

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Adrim instructed them. His voice was clear. Forceful. Intelligent. Calm. 

 

The asha'aman made quick work of the healing as he spoke. Ful looked at him closely.

 

Ful tried to follow the more complex weaves. Why was he sometimes weaving the water this way, sometimes laid through air to reset the breakage? It seemed so fragmented, so counterintuitive to him. He thought the smaller things were, the faster things happened. In this case, the smaller weaves were more delicate and slower to come together. Also, when a body was broken, when the bone structure broke apart - he took the premise in his speculations that spirit rejoined the tissues and connected the ligaments. All effects of Adrim's healing.

 

Ful, watching Adrim, saw the asha’aman place weaves on the major injuries on her body. As if he didn’t like what the woman’s body was doing internally, and adjusted his elemental bindings, constantly tweaking. How did Adrim keep track of so many different flows everywhere? As per Adrim’s instruction, Ful had copied the basic form. It took all his concentration for the weave to respond to his will.

 

Judging by the woman’s even breathing - that had been ragged, agitated- her condition was stable now.

 

Adrim’s strong, confident voice — the voice of the brilliant, experienced medical man — took over, asking them to try on the patient.

 

After healing, as explained by Adrim earlier in the day, it took hours or days for the body to sort itself back out again. Since healing was draining on her body, should Ful really try to heal the minor injuries?

 

Ful shrugged and hunched over the woman to examine her right arm, which was covered with cosmetic scratches.

 

Here was his chance to fix minor injuries, to learn how to naturally heal while she was unconscious. Once more he made the simple form of the healing weave Adrim showed them, and to his pleasant surprise, it worked right away.

 

Also, it was a picture of the body’s workings Ful had never conceived of before. He could feel her scratched skin scab over and shift into place under it new unbroken flesh. Once started, it was as if her body took over the repairs on its natural mechanisms. His eyes widened once he delved and saw the extensive amount of healing that was done, keeping her alive. Her body was very far from the healthy, clean body of the boy they delved at the farm.

 

Adrim had done a good deed. Ful was glad of that.

 

He quickly stepped out of the way, away from the lady to let Merdyn have a go.

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                Merdyn’s blood was pumping so hard he felt it in his ears. He would have never guessed that healing was so stressful to learn! Especially after yesterday in the tents. He had thought that they would’ve had a nice, quiet evening in the Village tending to the sickly… Not scrambling about a carriage that literally exploded before them!

 

                Light! What in the name of the Creator have I gotten myself into!?

 

                There weren’t many doubts in Merdyn’s life, but watching that woman bleed profusely definitely made him question a few things up until this point… Things would have been so much simpler had he just submitted to Father’s will and pursued the Queen of Andor.

 

                That would not have worked… You’d last, what? A year or two before the Queen found you in bed with the stable boy? Then your head would be mounted on a spike and… No. The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. You are supposed to be here, Merdyn! Buck up!

 

                Adrim barked orders at the two, snapping Merdyn out of his own head. He looked back down at the woman and felt sickness rise up from his stomach. He swallowed it back down with a grimace. Watching Adrim, he memorized the weaves laid upon the woman and recalled what had been done to Nox. It was surprising. When Merdyn had first started learning to Channel, it took him days… sometimes weeks to memorize a weave, but now it came second nature. He would have to practice, to be sure, but he at least knew how the thing was supposed to look.

 

                I do love playing with Fire, but Healing is far too interesting… I’ll have to shadow Adrim more. He seems to know so much! I hope I am half as knowledgeable as he is once I attain the second pin!

 

                Ful stepped away from the woman and gestured for Merdyn to have a go. Oddly enough, at that moment, Merdyn realized he loved Ful. Not like Kyllian. There would be no romantic relationship between them. Ful was attractive, intelligent, and kind, but Merdyn didn’t feel the spark he had felt with Kyllian. No. His love for Ful was comparable to what an older brother might feel for a younger brother. Being an only child, Merdyn was thrilled. He had always wanted a little brother, and it seemed that the Black Tower had given him one. In a way.

 

                Merdyn would never treat Ful like his junior, the young man had reached Dedicated before he had. Not that that should matter. Still. Ful deserved respect and Merdyn promised himself that he would always show Ful that. He valued the young man’s friendship and he would not let anything spoil that.

 

                Nodding to his friend, Merdyn laid the weave over the woman and gasped audibly as the wounds across her torso righted themselves. He really wasn’t sure it would work. It was his first time performing the feat, but it went off without a hitch. Splinters of wood and metal squeezed themselves out from her flesh as the skin and tissue knitted itself back together. The woman took a shuddering breath in as the wounds were healed, although she never opened her eyes.

 

                For the second time that day, Saidin fled from Merdyn’s grasp as shock took hold.

 

                I did it! I bloody did it! I didn’t kill her! I was so sure…!

 

                Merdyn’s eyes rose from the woman and settled on Adrim, not losing their intensity.

 

                “What do we do now?” he asked the older man.

Edited by Oddpositions

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The boys did their thing.  Adrim was proud of each of them.  But he was tired.  Healing took a lot of power and it was about the same distance back to the farm as to town.  He wasn't about to carry either way, the horses could be useful if they had litters.  The carriage was a disaster.  

 

Adrim decided to give them options.  "There are several options.  We can wait till one of them rouses.  We can make a litter and carry them both unconscious behind the horses either to the farm or to town." Adrim smirked, it wasn't something he thought either of them would do, but it was still an option.  "We could leave them on the side of the road and go about our duties."  He tapped his temple thinking of other options. 

 

He sighed.  "But either way, I need to rest.  That took about as much out of me as it did her."  Her wounds had been extensive, and while it hadn't drained him, holding that much power and doing what he had was taxing on anyone's body.

 

Adrim thought of another option. "Another option, one or both of you could head to the farm or town and fetch additional help.  A wagon or something, or another carriage."  Adrim smiled.  "I'll leave it to the majority vote."

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Crouching on his haunches by Adrim’s side, Ful folded his arms and sighed. If only he had the ability to travel, like Nox. 

 

He didn’t want to carry ladies on a make-shift litter towards town, or - the other choice - ride a horse back to the farm and get help, if he wasn’t forced into it.

 

“We’re good, I think” muttered the young man directly to the ground. He smoothed his regimental uniform, not looking at either of Adrim or Merdyn. He wasn’t quite sure what Adrim expected. Probably something heroic. Heroic actions came from the men with faces hard like knives at the black tower, Ful thought. They certainly had a sort of mad dog smell about them. He had serious doubts he was suitable for the same tasks as those guys. 

 

“I mean, isn't this . . . you know . . . sufficient?" It's fine to speak your mind. He reminded himself as he added:

 

“Can't we just stop here while you rest? At least until they wake up. Maybe somebody will come along who can help us.” 

 

He breathed in expectantly. He’d perform as ordered, per majority vote of course, yet that doesn’t necessarily mean he had to like it.

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                Merdyn had embraced the Source as soon as Adrim had begun listing off their options. He didn’t do anything with it, he just held it. The idea of sitting around was preposterous after Merdyn had experienced that rush while Healing the woman. If the other two wanted to rest, that was all well and good. To do anything though, he needed to know the area just a little better. He had been down this dirt road before, but he needed to be positive it would work…

 

                He wasn’t going to try Traveling, that would require more time learning the area. He was also just a little tired from what they had been doing, but he thought he could manage to Skim back to the Farm, if only once.

 

                “I don’t mean to be presumptuous, but I think I have enough energy left in me to Skim back to the Farm. I’m not quite sure that I do, but I’d like to try. At the very least, I can go fetch another carriage and bring it back while you two rest. Perhaps one of them will wake by the time I come back with the ride. I’m not sure I’ll have the strength to Skim back, but I’m positive one of the Asha’men can bring me back if nothing else,” Merdyn said as he looked to Adrim and Ful for a sign of approval.

 

                Something seemed to click in the back of his mind.

 

                Got it.

 

                “If neither one wakes, we’re going to have to do something with them… It wouldn’t be right to just leave them here. The very least we can do is bring them to the Inn in town or perhaps to a Doctor there… It’ll plague me if we do nothing,” Merdyn proclaimed before turning away from the pair.

 

                Merdyn began the weave for Skimming. It required Spirit, Air, and Earth. He was surprised about the last element being used. In his own logic, he would have guessed only Spirit and Air were required; but that was the One Power for you. He took his time with it, even though he knew the weave by heart and had done this a few times before. Still, Adrim and Ful were there and he could not disappoint, especially after showing such bravado.

 

                It would take a few minutes to complete yet. Merdyn called over his shoulder, “Feel free to veto my plan… But, please… At least let me try to open a Gateway. We can all go back too, if you would like. Either way is fine by me, so long as we do not abandon these poor women.”

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Adrim hadn't thought about that particular aspect.  Nox was a natural at traveling, his students would likely pick it up with the amount of Gateway's they'd seen.  If they had the power, then that would be useful.  

 

Adrim nodded.  "Go ahead.  Open one to the Farm.  And find someone to come to us and help us take the ladies back to the farm."'  Adrim sighed, "If everyone is too busy, there is a boy lying in bed doing nothing, who would probably open a gateway for us on the return trip."  Not that Adrim didn't beleive Merdyn couldn't do it again, but he trusted Nox's gateway's not to collapse while he walked through, and skimming never really was something Adrim liked.  That was his only means of travel, and he didn't think on it often when he had two perfectly good feet to walk himself, or gateways at his disposal.

 

 

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Ful nodded along during Adrim and Merdyn’s practical discussion about how they were to proceed. He gave himself up to somewhat uneasy thought over that remarkable weave, this work-in-progress by Merdyn. Of course, Merdyn seemed a confident and excessively talented student, and Ful noted this fact, despite an upbringing with servants, for the reliable manner in which Merdyn could be trusted to take initiative and do things for others. He would like to know just what it was happened to Merdyn to make him so dependable— and not a spoilt, pampered young man.

 

It was interesting how Nox chose not to heal, and perhaps Adrim was too exhausted - or perhaps he couldn’t - travel. Ful examined his uneasiness more closely. Presently, he considered the possibility of Merdyn’s skimming weave failing as the technicality of skill and strength seemed high. Then there was Ful’s worry about his immediate future: he did wonder if he’d be good at saidin and perhaps stumble on his specialty soon.  

 

He sighed, then brightened. If Merdyn succeeded, things would become easier now. These women, for instance . . .

 

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                Merdyn almost lost his concentration over the veiled mention at Nox. It’s not as if he had feelings for the man, yet he felt something for him. The guilt was still there over the Trolloc incident. Would Nox be well enough to assist him? Adrim’s comment had made it clear that he should at least ask…

 

                A silver line snapped into existence at the thought. It was all too familiar to Merdyn, he had seen Nox do the same thing thousands of times. It was done. So long as the line expanded open into a Gateway, Merdyn knew that he succeeded. He secretly hoped that his teacher would be proud, although he knew he would never be able to elicit such a reaction from Nox. Not openly.

 

                The silver line burst into a phantom gateway that opened onto a void, “Be patient, friends! I will be back momentarily!” He called over his shoulder as he stepped through the gateway. Merdyn preferred a larger vessel, thus a sea-folk ship sat in the void waiting for him. Of course, he wasn’t sure if this was what one of those ships looked like, still, he had his own thoughts and it really didn’t matter so long as the barge appeared. And it did.

 

                Stepping onto the ethereal ship, Merdyn took a breath before the Gateway winked out behind him and the ship lurched forward. There was nothing but blackness surrounding him. It was scary. All it would take was one false move and Merdyn would be dead… A chill shot up his spine at the thought. He had traveled this way many times and he would not conjure fear now.

 

                In less than five minutes, the ship stopped and Merdyn opened another Gateway, knowing that he had arrived. The other side of that Gateway showed a familiar sight. The Traveling Grounds. Merdyn could see classrooms and common areas beyond the Gateway and his heart warmed. He had done it. There was no doubt that he could, still, it felt good to be validated in one’s talents.

 

                Merdyn stepped out from the Void and into the Black Tower. Asha’men and talented Dedicated gapped at him as he stepped out of the slash in the air. Merdyn paid them no mind, assuming the face of a noble. Even here, in the Black Tower, Merdyn had found it was easy to get what he wanted if he only assumed he was due what he asked. Today proved little different from what he had grown to assume.

 

                Without so much as a few sentences, an entire team had been assembled for Merdyn and his compatriots back at the roadside. It wasn’t a fine carriage attached to the horses, to be sure, but it would have to do. A wagon with straw and cloth for padding; hopefully the noble women stayed asleep for much of the ride back to the Black Tower. They would just hate waking to a bed full of hay.

 

                Merdyn left the assembly and made his way through the Farm. He knew the way to Nox. He didn't dare visit the man before... But Adrim had all but told him to pay a visit to the Asha'man... After, what seemed to be only seconds, Merdyn found himself knocking at Nox’s door.

Edited by Oddpositions

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Being in bed sucked!  Nox was bored.  He'd read the same page three times.  He'd tried to nap.  This was annoying.  Nox pulled himself slowly out of bed.  He walked to the other side of the room and washed his face with cold water in the basin.  

 

There was no food and his stomach rumbled.  Nox wondered if he could chance a walk to get food before Adrim found him.  But Nox didn't get a chance to do anything when there was a knock at his door.  "I'm in bed Adrim. Go away."  It was a lie as he sat down in the chair by his small table.  He was tired of being in bed.

 

Nox thought maybe it wasn't Adrim.  He was hungry.  "If you're not Adrim you can come in. The door is unlocked."  Not that Nox ever remembered to bolt the door.  He had nothing valuable to steal.  The only thing a thief might take would be his silver pins, but every asha'am here had them so it was hardly an issue.

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                Merdyn heard Nox yell for Adrim to leave. He had to stifle a chuckle. Nox sounded annoyed. Oh, Merdyn very well knew that Nox was capable of that emotion, but he was unaccustomed to actually hearing that tone from the other man. Usually, he was all seriousness and brooding. This was downright amusing. It almost felt like Merdyn was seeing another side of the man.

 

                Slowly creaking open the door, Merdyn pushed his head through before it was completely open. To Nox, he would just see Merdyn’s floating head and the biggest grin plastered across that noble face.

 

                “It’s meeeeeeeeee,” Merdyn drew out that last word with all the cheer and happiness he could muster. He wasn’t sure how Nox would react to this sudden appearance, but he did not want to give the man an inch to turn him away.

 

                Without waiting for as much as an invitation, Merdyn pushed into the room and closed the door behind him. He spun quickly on Nox and eyed the man sitting at the small table, “Don’t look like you’re in bed, Nox,” Merdyn announced in a mock authoritative tone before breaking down into a smile again, “Funny you mentioned Adrim, though…

 

                Merdyn took a seat across from Nox at the table and went on, “We have a bit of a problem on our hands; you see… Adrim, Ful, and I were going into town to help out. He was going to show us some Healing and we were going to make nice with the townsfolk. Ful really wants to make sure they’re not scared of us… I digress. Long story short, this carriage came barreling down the road, the horses out of control. It crashed and there were two noblewomen inside that were injured severely. They are fine now. Resting by the roadside… I Skimmed back here to fetch a carriage to bring everyone back. Adrim and Ful are too tired to make the trip… And I thought since you aren’t busy, that you might help me Travel back to the others. I can do it myself, but I don’t know if I have the energy to make it there and back… Oh, and Adrim also told me to come to you, so I’m sure he thinks you’re well enough to be back on your feet.”

 

                Saying all of that left Merdyn panting. He didn’t normally talk so quickly, but he was still feeling the rush of Healing and then bossing around everyone at the Traveling Grounds. He had not been able to do something like that since leaving Father’s estates. It felt good.

 

                I hope all of these boys have prepared themselves! As soon as I earn the second pin, it’s a whole new Merdyn. I will be a force that needs to be reckoned with. This place always needs new leaders, and I think that I just might be one of them one day.

 

                Merdyn was still grinning, “So, what I am trying to say is… I need your help, Nox.”

Edited by Oddpositions

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